It took me less than one episode of Top Gear (the original, BBC version, of course) to move 90% of the parts over. Fresh off the crank upgrade I gave the Bike Friday, I did the drivetrain first and just worked my way up. I did need to use some new tools this time around: for instance, to remove a headset from one bike and keep it usable, a headset removal tool is really the only option.
Also, I didn't have a headset press (or, more importantly, a croquet mallet) to put the headset on the new frame, so I broke out a rubber mallet and pounded it in as gently and firmly as possible.
By the time the 'Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car' segment had ended, I nearly had a normal-looking mountain bike and I was pretty excited about it. Not only did it look good, but I was convinced it would be the most comfortable mountain bike ever thanks to the Cane Creek Thudbuster seatpost. I know you don't normally see suspension seatposts on full suspension bikes, but I thought it was time to redefine what full suspension meant.
However, as soon as I put the handlebars on, things went awry.
The cables went on easily enough after I cut the pieces of housing to the appropriate lengths. But for whatever reason, the cable on the front derailleur was too short. No problem, I thought. I had plenty of other shifter cables. So I took a wrench and
properly unscrewed the shifter screwed myself out of a
functioning shifter. What the picture below shows? Never do that.
There are times when lessons are learned the hard way. This was one of those times. I unscrewed the largest and most obvious-looking bolt on the shifter and instead of being able to remove the housing, a tiny metal spring leapt from the handlebars and scampered across the shop floor.
And I couldn't put it back in. 90% of the bike was built, but I spent the same amount of time on the 90% trying to fix the mistake I made with the 1%. Getting the spring back in was like the last three seconds of every losing Tetris game I ever played.
So it was game over for what was once a functioning shifter. I removed it the rest of the way and soon discovered that even if I hadn't broken it, it wouldn't be able to connect to the derailleur that was off Mountain Bike 1.0 anyway: the downtube was thicker and the design had the cable coming in from the bottom rather than the top. So I attached everything else from 1.0 (save for the brakes; after the poor showing at the Northeast Kingdom in Vermont last fall I upgraded to a new set of Avid ones).
Eventually, I realized that I needed to do something I probably should do a lot more often: visit a bike shop to get the expertise and the parts I needed. Although all the systems on the new bike were not yet operational, I decided to take it straight to the Stamford train station to head to Greenwich.
On the way to the station – and later on the ride up to Greenwich Bicycles - I was impressed with the suspension and may have looked disturbed or comical as I made an effort to hop every curb and hit every pothole and run over every obstruction just so I could revel in the comfort of the ride. This would be a great bike, I thought.
At Greenwich Bicycles, I wheeled my new ride right into the shop to get the expertise to get me rolling again. Thankfully, the reactions I got from the owner, Rob, as well as his employees who saw the bike didn't recoil in horror or make any I-hope-you-didn't-pay-too-much-for-this-on-eBay comments: they found me a derailleur that brought up the cable from the bottom bracket and a new shifter...that doesn't match the old one but works great anyway. The value of the expertise and great service was built into the cost of the products I bought, and I left with a valuable lesson: when you're building or taking apart a bike, know when you are out of your depth.
I returned home and, once I had the shifter and derailleur installed and adjusted properly, took the bike for a short and slow ride...across the breakwater at West Beach with the big, pointy rocks. I admit it was a little bumpy, but it crawled across easily. If it had a holster for a chainsaw and another for a shotgun, it would be the perfect bike for a zombie apocalypse.
That left me with just one last thing to do.